New Pediatric Dental Recommendations Will Make The Anti-Fluoride Crowd Lose Their Minds

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scared-kid-at-the-dentistThe American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with a new recommendation that reverses their long-standing stance on fluoride use: now, regardless of how much risk a child has of cavities, they should start getting fluoridated toothpaste at six months of age. I don’t know about you, but not using up the fluoride-free toothpaste I’ve been using on my kids is almost worth the forthcoming shit-storm that’s surely brewing among the anti-fluoride crowd.

The new recommendations come with caveats and limitations. Of course you can’t shove a grown-up-sized dollop of toothpaste into your toddler’s gaping maw, and you still shouldn’t use over-the-counter fluoride rinses on your baby, who can’t spit them back out. Fluorosis (overexposure to fluorine) is a real dental problem, too. Of course if you get too much fluorine, you’ll have health consequences to deal with – but so will you if you have too much iron, too much vitamin D, or even too much water. Anyone want to cut any of those things out of their diet completely?

Rates of cavities are increasing in the diapers-and-crayons crowd for unclear reasons: too many sweets (including fruits)? Parents forgetting to brush their little ones’ teeth before bedtime? The use of bottled or filtered water instead of the straight-from-the-tap variety? Who knows, but if a tiny smear of toothpaste a couple of times a day can help to head this problem off, I’m all for it. But I have a hunch that this isn’t a sentiment shared by the rest of the world, or at least not the part that takes a certain scene in Dr. Strangelove a little too seriously.

Previous Mommyish stories about fluoridated toothpaste have shown that people have some strong feelings on the subject (but not a lot of strong facts to back those feelings up):

You’re the only person on here that understands the true point. The true point of fluoride is a spiritual war on our minds, it is designed to ruin our ability to spiritually awaken, by damaging the spiritual gland called the Pineal gland, which is known by all religious groups to be the “seat of the soul.” Fluoride has nothing to do with teeth. Fluoride also kills us quickly, by shortening our life span, because the Pineal gland regulates your life span.

I actually cannot argue with that, because there is nothing reasonable enough to argue against. (Or maybe I just can’t formulate an argument because my pineal gland is too spiritually battered by years of oral hygiene.) Sorry, anti-fluoridaters, but researchers say that a little fluoride goes a long way toward healthy teeth, and your insistence that a little research at Google University trumps peer-reviewed science falls awfully flat. I’d suggest that maybe the anti-vaxxers would have some words of comfort for you, but you and they are probably one and the same.

Sadly I have too much to get done to start day drinking already, but if your afternoon is looking clear, please enjoy the comments section below once Google Alerts start to hit for a game of anti-fluoride bingo on me:


(Image: Marius Pirvu / Shutterstock)


    • Spongeworthy

      August 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Did I just get Jammed?

    • Maria Guido

      August 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm


  1. Joye77

    August 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

    In my community they voted down fluoridation of our water for some odd reason, much to the disgust of the local dentists. Florida, enough said….

    • EX

      August 26, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Out water is not fluoridated so I’ve been poisoning my child with a flouride supplement since she was 6 months. Muahahaha.

  2. Abby

    August 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Man, I remember fluoride day was pretty much my favorite day at school because I loved how the stuff tasted–like minty bubblegum joy. And hell, it was always the only part of going to the dentist that I enjoyed because our dentist had the best flavors, like sour apple and radical grape. And, to boot, I’ve only had one cavity my entire life and have yet to join the ranks of the reptilians and/or develop cancer of the logic gland. So… Imma say that these new recommendations are probably a good thing.

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      August 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      That stuff made me want to hurl. I hated fluoride day. I was irrationally upset every time.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      The fluoride gel they used to give me at the dentist made me nauseous every time. Can’t stand that crap.

    • rockmonster

      August 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      The fluoride foam I had the dentist was tasty.

    • Abby

      August 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Polling my husband and bff, I’ve discovered that your experience is a lot more common, and that makes me sad because tasty fluoride is the best.

  3. jendra_berri

    August 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I corrected an anti-fluorite on FB awhile back. I basically said these dental organizations, which represent thousands of dentists, are in favour of fluoride. The reply was a YouTube video of one holistic dentist saying shit. I was told to “educate myself.”
    I got far more likes and the post was actually deleted.

    • rockmonster

      August 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      “Educate yourself” is code for “I don’t actually know what I’m talking about and don’t have a good argument. “

    • Kenneth James Abbott

      September 18, 2014 at 11:53 am

      I don’t have the research, so I demand you do it for me. That’ll keep you busy for a few days, and hopefully you’ll either forget about my bullshit or decide you have more important things to do with your time.

  4. B

    August 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I’m pretty sure that the American Board of Pediatric Debtistry has recommended this for a couple years. My 2 year old has been going to the pediatric dentist since 12 months (also a recommendation) and they have always given us fluoridated kids toothpaste in the goodie bag.

    • middleofnowheremom

      August 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Both my kids started going to the dentist once they got their first teeth. My Aunt is a dentist and she recommends bringing your children in once they get their first teeth or by their first birthday. A) It familiarizes your children with their dental health providers & B) You get some awesome resource information and get the true blue information on when, how and what to brush their teeth.

    • whiteroses

      August 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      My mother is a dental hygienist. She finds this debate absolutely hilarious. You know what happens if you don’t get fluoride? Cavities.

  5. Rose

    August 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    My 3 year old still can’t spit out toothpaste for some dumb reason, so I asked his dentist how big a deal could it be. He told me that to get Fluorosis, he’d have to eat 4 regular-sized tubes of Crest all at once.
    Also, Pineal Gland = seat of the soul??? Whuuuuut?

    • keelhaulrose

      August 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      That’s what I was worried about with my almost three year old because she refuses to spit the stuff out (she’d eat it if we let her). Doc told us not to worry as long as we’re not going overboard. After her assurances that we’re okay I pushed toothpaste to near the bottom of the list of “shit I’m worried about her putting in her mouth”.

    • Lindsey

      August 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Use adult toothpaste. They will learn how to spit it out real quick. Just don’t use a ton.

    • Lilly

      August 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      ha ha, on Sunday I accidentally used adult toothpaste and the look my son gave me was quite epic.

    • Maria Guido

      August 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Yup – my 3-year-old hasn’t mastered that either. Doesn’t help that kid toothpaste tastes like bubblegum, I guess.

    • Rose

      August 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Ok, good, it’s not just my kid then. I though his inability to spit was related to a speech delay; he can’t blow bubbles either. Never thought I’d be disappointed my kid can’t spit, yaknow?

    • Ashlee

      August 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I was shocked when my boy’s dentist didn’t expect him to be able to spit yet. He’ll be two in November and I have been trying (mostly in vain) to teach him to spit. They also told me to just dip the toothbrush bristles into the toothpaste to get a teeny bit on them.

    • CC

      August 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Yeah, my kid begs to brush his teeth. He thinks it’s candy, he practically eats it off the toothbrush.

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      August 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Full confession: I used to use my kid’s toothpaste once in awhile. Because…bubblegum.

  6. Jen TheTit Whipper

    August 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I actually have an anti-flouridite on my FB feed. I mostly just scroll past, but I’m tempted to send this link to her and see what happens.

    • js argh

      August 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Do it. We demand screencaps of the result.

  7. middleofnowheremom

    August 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I am friends with a gal on facebook, and the only reason is so that I can watch the blowups from posts like these. She recently went on a rant about her toddler aged, homebirthed babies that’ve never seen doctors that have recently had chicken pox and how she had to take them to the dentist because their mouths were hurting. She swears the chicken pox gave them cavities and now she is posting about how you treat cavities WITH MERCURY. Those poor children.

    • ALE515

      August 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm


    • middleofnowheremom

      August 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Seriously. No clue where she gets her information from, or what crackpot website. But it’s horrific.

    • Lindsey

      August 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      So, why is she antivaccine then?

    • middleofnowheremom

      August 26, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      for the same reason she “homeschools”, refuses to drive a vehicle, refuses to go to a doctor (or take her children to one). Because, it’s the :BEST: you can do.

    • whiteroses

      August 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Mercury? She does know that shit is poisonous unless administered by a dental professional, right?

      Some people really shouldn’t be having kids.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      August 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Didn’t she want them to get chicken pox, though? I mean, it’s better than an ebil vaccine, right? So isn’t this the correct outcome? Anti-vaxxers confuse me.

    • middleofnowheremom

      August 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Oh yes. Her oldest has had measles. All 4 of her children have now had the chicken pox. She actually drove them 7 hours to her sisters house so that her sisters 5 or 6 kids (including a newborn) to all be exposed in their vaccine free, doctor free, hippi commune home.

    • Jem

      August 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      I hate when people act like chicken pox and especially measles is NBD. I know someone who is partially deaf from having measles as a kid. But better than immunizing, right?!

    • middleofnowheremom

      August 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      and I don’t think chicken pox causes cavities.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      August 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      I was just trying to think on her warped logic, haha. We all know Obama causes cavities.

    • EX

      August 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Maybe not, but apparently having a lot of high fevers in childhood can weaken teeth and make them more susceptible to cavities. At least that’s what was explained to me and my parents why I had to get fillings in nearly every tooth before age 18 (despite good oral hygiene, I swear).

    • CC

      August 26, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Yeah, don’t these assholes love to like, throw chicken pox parties and send diseases through our mail system via infected lollipops?

      My head. It hurts.

    • Blahblah

      August 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Oh God. Mercury? That makes me VERY sad.

    • Jem

      August 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      someone suggested to my extra crunchy sister in law that she rub some mercury cream in her son’s mouth for thrush instead of using nystatin because “big pharma” is out to get them you know. It’s so mind numbingly frustrating to watch someone even consider rubbing straight up mercury in a baby’s mouth.

  8. Angie S

    August 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Wow, I didn’t even know that anti-fluoride was a thing. If you want your kids teeth to rot out of their head, more power to you. I am sure they will thank you for that when they have to drill the cavities.

  9. CrazyFor Kate

    August 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    The big problem my sister had with her kids was that she breastfed them a long time and they often fell asleep in the process. The sweet breastmilk would linger in their mouths and they all wound up with tons of cavities. The problem was solved with – get this – a quick mouth wipedown after feeding. So simple!

  10. PAJane

    August 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    My mom took flouride when she was pregnant (not exactly legal, but it helps to have a pharmacist in the family), and my sibling and I both ended up with too much flouride. The only negative side effects we saw were extra-white spots on our teeth. Mine have mostly faded, I can still see my brother’s sometimes, but it’s not super noticable. We also had cleanings and flouride treatments every 6 months for the duration of our childhoods. Neither of us has ever had a cavity or any sort of serious dental issue, and I don’t know a lot of people my age who can say that. I am thankful for it every day of my life. Thanks, Mom!

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Why was your Mom taking fluoride? Genuinely curious because I don’t know what it is used for other than preventing tooth decay.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      I really feel likeI am missing out on Parks and Recreation. I’ve watched the pilot episode twice and can’t make it any further because I didn’t like the episode, but you guys keep pulling all these awesome GIFs that make the show seem hilarious. Maybe I will give it another chance.

    • Spongeworthy

      August 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      The first season was terrible. Just skip straight to season 2 on Netflix and enjoy.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks! I’ll try to get over my weird “have to watch it from the start” thing.

    • K.

      August 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      It kind of his a bit of a ‘miss’ for the first season–they don’t really work out the kinks until Season Two (kind of like “The Office,” if you ever watched that show). I think you can start with Season Two and do okay.

    • CC

      August 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Omg I seriously cannot believe you are saying S1 of The Office was bad. The alliance! Michael’s hair extensions! It’s so dry and wonderful.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Diversity day? Also one of my favorite S1 episodes.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Oh man, I am with CC – I loved S1 of The Office! I’ll give Parks N Rec another shot, though.

    • CC

      August 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      It’s amazing for like, 3 seasons. I wish I had stopped watching when it started to spiral because Amy Poehler just irritates me now. It’s also super sad to see her with that guy she is dating IRL because it just reminds you that Amy and Will Arnett broke up, and that there is nothing beautiful left in this world.

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      August 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm


    • Liz

      August 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

      You should just skip forward to when Rob Lowe and Adam Scott show up. I had the same problem with the pilot, but the rest of the series is not nearly exasperating. It starts to get really entertaining midway through season 2.

  11. K.

    August 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    So side question:

    How do you get a 2-year-old to actually allow you to brush their teeth (as opposed to just sucking toothpaste off the brush and then refusing to open their mouth)?

    • Lindsey

      August 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Do you use real toothpaste or kid toothpaste? Because real toothpaste tastes bad and in my experience, the kids can’t wait to get it out, so they seem to let me brush their teeth more.

    • Blueathena623

      August 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      It’s like giving a cat a pill — nearly impossible without some force.

    • B

      August 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      It’s taken about 3 months, but we do Ahhhhhh and Eeeeee! I do it with him. Ahhhhhh! is for big open mouth to brush the molars and chewing surfaces. And eeeeeh! is to brush the front of the teeth. He thinks it’s a game now. I’m sure we look and sound ridiculous, but that’s the majority of my day with a toddler.

      Oh, and a flashing light saber toothbrush.

    • aimelaine

      August 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      My son’s dentist has youtube videos of how to do it. We watched and said ‘Yeah RIGHT!’ But he demonstrated in the office on my son and ever since then he is a pro. We stand behind him and he looks up and brushing begins. Somehow we have been lucky and don’t have to get a wrench to open his mouth. We were told to brush with just water (tap water with all that wonderful fluoride!) while we do the work, then after we are done, he gets the toothbrush with a smidge of toothpaste to do with as he pleases. He even lets us floss his teeth from time to time.
      We used baby/kid/sugar toothpaste until he turned two but now we’ve moved on to fluoridated kids toothpaste and he likes it and he also likes learning to spit although sometimes he will swallow the water and then spit.
      When my nieces were 4 or so, they’d spend the night pretty often, but once we forgot their toothpaste. We tried to get them to use ours and they acted like we’d sprayed hot sauce in their mouths: they screamed and let the fire burn through their eyes as they stared us down. Here’s hoping our son doesn’t have such a dramatic reaction.

    • Lilly

      August 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      I have had success with only letting him get his turn (where he basically sucks toothpaste off the brush) if he lets mommy have a turn first and he has to open his mouth and not fight it.
      His dentist (pediatric one) suggested having him lie on his back with his head between your legs and your legs holding his arms down — works well in that you can see what you are doing better. It is unpleasant for him and he is given a choice sit/stand nicely or lie on the back. That worked when he was younger 18mths – 2yrs but now he can wrangle out of it pretty well.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      August 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Since sitting on them doesn’t work (nor threats of sitting on them), the “make it a game” is far more effective and results in less crying (on the parent’s part).

    • jendra_berri

      August 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      I have no effing idea. My son somehow has nearly all his teeth before being a year and a half and every night it’s a dance to try and get a toothbrush across any of them.

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      August 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      We did the vowel sounds. I’d tell him to open his mouth then we’d say “Ahhhh” or “AAAAA” then “EEEEE” then “IIIIII” and so on until I felt like his mouth was clean.

      I will say though that only worked 60% of the time. The other 40% was made up of brute parental force.

    • Jessica

      August 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      My husband pretends to stick the brush up my 2.5 year old’s nose and
      when she laughs, she opens her mouth wide enough for a scrubbing. It
      takes a while, but it works when the vowel sounds fail.

    • Williwaw

      August 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      The unwritten “rule” with our two year-old is that one of us parents gets to brush his teeth for about thirty seconds (we are working on upping the time, slowly. Then he gets to “brush”. And by “brush”, I mean “slurp the foamy toothpaste residue off the bristles, swallow it, and giggle maniacally”.

    • EX

      August 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      I had a little routine I did where I would pretend there were zoo animals in her mouth and I had to get them out. I have no clue how that started but it worked and I don’t care how crazy it sounds.

  12. Blueathena623

    August 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I dip the kiddo’s toothbrush in fluoridated mouthwash and then put a smear of MI paste on it. I don’t want him eating a whole tube if MI paste, but a little bit won’t hurt him.

  13. Michael Weldon

    August 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    You would think dentists would love the anti-floride clowns, as they have to be providing a steady supply of patients to them.

  14. rrlo

    August 26, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Anti vaccine. Anti Fluoride. Anti – Antibiotics. Anti Sunscreen. Anti “Chemicals”.

    It’s all part of the same brand of nuttiness. Everyone appears to have it to some extent.

  15. Nameless Mom

    August 26, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Way to pick what an extremist said to discount what anyone who is against fluoride thinks.. By the way, we and one other country are the only ones who put fluoride in our drinking water. Also, lead in gasoline had mounds of studies claiming it was safe. I’ll leave it at that.

  16. Emee

    August 27, 2014 at 6:49 am

    This may be a really stupid question (non mom here) but why does it matter if they get cavities in their baby teeth? Does it have a long term effect on their adult teeth?

    • jenstar

      August 27, 2014 at 8:44 am

      It can do, depending on how bad it gets. If the baby tooth gets infected that can spread to the developing adult teeth underneath.

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